Dot Foods’ new $35 million facility is breaking ground in Bear, Delaware, where it will sit on 35 acres of land about 50 miles southwest of Philadelphia. Located at 301 American Boulevard, the 188,000-square-foot facility includes offices; dry, refrigerated, and frozen warehouse space; and a truck yard and garage for Dot’s fleet.
“A lot of work has been done to get us to this day,” said Dick Tracy, Dot Foods President, “And we are excited to move this project into the next phase. Dot Foods Delaware joins our other two East Coast locations in Maryland and New York, and will allow us to even better serve our customers in Eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut. We look forward to building relationships with many more people in the region as we become part of the Bear community.”
Lieutenant Governor Bethany Hall-Long, Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester, Director Damian DeStefano of the Delaware Division of Small Business, State Senator Nicole Poore, and New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer all attended Dot Foods’ occasion.
“We are so pleased to welcome Dot Foods to Delaware. With the creation of their facility and hiring of 200 plus employees, Dot will not only add valuable employment resources, but will become a critical member of Delaware’s economic fiber,” said Hall-Long. “This move reaffirms Delaware’s commitment to making our state stronger and healthier through quality sustainable growth.”
Others joined in to praise Dot Foods’ move into the state.
"It is wonderful to see Dot Foods break ground on its new facility here in Delaware," said DeStefano. "This project would not have been possible without the help of our partners in New Castle County and the Delaware Prosperity Partnership. It shows to what we can achieve when we take a collaborative approach to economic development and why Delaware is an excellent place for businesses to grow and thrive."
Next month, Dot will begin distribution from the facility, but the completion date for the project is expected to be in the fall of 2019, according to a press release. Starting with truck drivers, 125 people will be hired within the first year. New Castle, Delaware will house the company’s terminal location for its transportation operations at 194 S. Dupont Highway. Experienced drivers who handle freight are guaranteed to earn more than $75,000 their first year, while those without experience and who choose to handle freight are guaranteed $71,800 their first year. All drivers’ salaries are guaranteed in writing. An assigned tractor is given to experienced drivers, as well as vacation time match and health insurance gap coverage.
Hiring will start next spring, and the company hopes to employ 200 people by 2022, including careers in warehouse and support staff positions.
“The best part of moving into a new community and establishing a new distribution center is building our team,” Tracy explained. “We’re so happy to be at the point that we can start meeting with potential employees in New Castle County and the surrounding area. These are the people who are going to drive our success in Delaware. Today marks a big moment in our company’s history.”
The company expressed in its release that it hopes to employ 50 drivers by the time the distribution center opens in late 2019, and Class A Regional Driver positions are currently posted on DriveforDot.com. Other positions, such as the warehouse and office roles, will become available on DotFoods.com/careers. Competitive wages and a top-tier benefit package worth $20,000—which includes health insurance, prescription drug insurance, dental, vision, life insurance, 401(k) with company match, profit sharing, and college tuition reimbursement—are offered by Dot Foods and Dot Transportation.
Joe Little—who first began his Dot journey at its corporate headquarters in Mt. Sterling, Illinois, and who is celebrating his 30th anniversary with the company in 2019—will be the General Manager for Dot Foods Delaware. After spending 13 years at the headquarters, Little moved to Dot’s Mayland location and then, again, to the Idaho, as he opened the company’s distribution center there. He and his wife, Janna, are in the process of relocation to Delaware from their New York location, where Little worked as a general manager for Dot Foods New York.
“Joe is an excellent leader and the best choice to head the start-up of Dot Foods Delaware,” said Tracy. “He bleeds Dot blue and has been instrumental in developing strong teams at several of our distribution centers. He’s as knowledgeable as it gets when it comes to our operations, and I know he’s going to apply his years of experience to do even more great work in Bear.”
Congratulations to Joe Little on this exciting new adventure with Dot Foods and to the company, itself, for this new chapter in its growth.